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Is there figurative language in Chapters 28 and 29 of The Good Earth?

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jausim | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 7, 2013 at 5:03 PM via iOS

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Is there figurative language in Chapters 28 and 29 of The Good Earth?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 9, 2013 at 8:43 AM (Answer #1)

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tPearl S. Buck's novel's title, The Good Earth, is itself a personification as the carrier of sustenance and the giver of life.  

  • In Chapter 28, Buck continues this use of personification, the attribution of human qualities to inanimate things, with the weather as she writes that the "winter wore away" as Spring arrives for Wang Lung to walk over his beloved land.
  • Further, Buck employs personification again as "the spring grew into summer."
  • Later in the narrative, Wang Lung is able to lend money to others so that they may plant seed in "the earth that was fat," another example of personification.

Then, in another part of this chapter, a character employs a simile, a comparison of two unlike things using the words as or like, when Lotus asks for a delicate little girl as a servant because another one is too coarse and she "smells like goat's meat."

In this same chapter,as Wang Lung listens to his son tell him of conflicts in the house, he complains that he does not want to listen to such complaints now that he is not filled with lust anymore as his  "blood cools," figurative language for losing his virility. 

In a metaphor, an unstated comparison, Wang Lung's son calls his cousin "a lustful dog."

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In Chapter 29 Wang Lung's old servant Ching "grew old and withered and lean as a weed," a simile.

When his uncle's son says that he will go off to the war in the North, Wang Lung's heart "leaped with pleasure," another personification.

More figurative language is used as Wang Lung "took it into his heart" to eat rich foods.

When his grandson is born, Wang Lung is delighted and tells the servant that he has been sitting "like a man with his own first son coming"--a simile.

Another simile occurs shortly after this one: Wang Lung "remembered as one remembers a dream long past."

Still another simile appears in this chapter as Ching dies.  When Wang Lung takes his hand, it was "as light and dry and small as a withered oak leaf."

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